Boston Bruins: Brad Marchand Back Earlier Than Expected

Brad Marchand was expected to miss at least the first couple of weeks of the regular season. He was ahead of schedule in his offseason recovery. Because of it, he was back on the ice for the Boston Bruins on opening night on the road against the New Jersey Devils. Marchand scored the game-winning shootout goal and beat goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood and Boston took down New Jersey by a final score of 3-2.

The Bruins are not as deep as last season. They don’t have David Pastrnak for the first month of the season and maybe beyond. The dominant line of Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak is going to have to wait until at least mid-February and potentially later.

Goaltender Tuukka Rask can not bail them out every single game either and he did stop 20 shots and also stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout round.

Marchand’s effect on the game against New Jersey on Thursday night was solid. He scored a power-play goal with 2:20 remaining in the first-period and Brad Marchand was wide open in front of the net.

He also recorded an assist on Boston’s other power-play goal in the third-period scored by Nick Ritchie with 6:48 remaining in regulation (13:12 time elapsed in the third-period).

Marchand is the heartbeat of the Boston Bruins. He is one of the best players on the Boston Bruins.

Boston would not have won last night on the road against New Jersey without his presence and his elite play.

Head coach Bruce Cassidy admits his grit and his toughness. This is why Brad Marchand is also an elite player. However after the game on Thursday night, Marchand also admitted that they wouldn’t have won if Tuukka Rask didn’t make big saves in the overtime period and the shootout as well here.

Having Brad Marchand back for opening night was huge for the Boston Bruins. They won the Presidents’ Trophy last season. Boston will not be that team this season.

The Washington Capitals, the New York Islanders, and the Philadelphia Flyers are all going to be better than them this season.

The New York Rangers, the New Jersey Devils, and the Buffalo Sabres won’t be a threat to Boston.

The last and final playoff spot in that realigned Eastern Division will be between them and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Brad Marchand is going to have to carry this hockey team on his back for most of this 56-game regular season, if they are going to get back to the playoffs.

It looked as if Marchand was back to his old form, despite undergoing sports hernia surgery back in September. Maybe he will be back stronger than ever before.

They are looking to win another Stanley Cup for the first time since 2011 against the Vancouver Canucks. The last time the Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup Finals was in 2019 by losing to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.

Boston is also looking to avenge the playoff loss from last postseason against the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

What do you think of Brad Marchand looking good for the Boston Bruins on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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